The Ice Age Challenge

Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Element 3

The novel: 2a - The Ice Age Challenge
Textbook: 3 - Marriage
Metaphors: Christ Healing - part 2
Manual elements: Discipline

Second row: Morning - The Christ, the spiritual idea of God - divine omnipotence

1st column: The Word, the Polar Magnet of Revelation - northward dawn - God is incorporeal

River: Pison - The love of the good and beautiful and their immortality.


The subject of marriage, which is addressed in the third chapter of Mary Baker Eddy textbook on Christian Science, is as wide-ranging a topic as is prayer and with equally vast implications, both individually and for civilization. The topic of marriage is also the central theme of the novel, The Ice Age Challenge,  though one would hardly recognize this at first glance, because it is staged to unfold on a higher level than the conventional, the level of the Christ. In the novel the topic of marriage is raised to the level of the historic "Principle of the Advantage of the Other" that had stopped the Thirty Years War in 1648. But this higher pursuit does not diverge from the spiritual principle for social marriage that Mary Baker Eddy put on the table in her textbook, at the same level of the Christ. Both converge at the same principle in different ways.

As a Christ supported institution marriage put on the table the rudimental spiritual principles that are essential for a rich social environment and a developing civilization. The historic "Principle of the Advantage of the Other" puts the same platform on the table on a wider scene with less doctrinal baggage attached so that the Principle of Universal Love, or divine Love, comes shining through. Christ Jesus warned that the moral institution should not be uprooted, but promised that it would be uplifted in spiritual development whereby its narrow character would yield to the demands of active universal spiritual principles.

One can see the same pattern here that one can see in Moses' Decalogue, which presents passive rules, such as not to do this and that. At the higher-level scientific perception one can see and active principle standing behind each passive rule. For example, the celebration of life as a divine reflection involves an imperative active principle that makes the directive, not to kill, obsolete. In the same manner the historic "Principle of the Advantage of the Other" makes the lower rules pertaining to marriage superficial as the bar becomes raised not to merely create a rich, protected, and cherished environment in the small, but to make the uplifted small sphere a stepping stone to a richer civilization. And this is crucial with the return of the Ice Age and the near horizon. In fact, this larger, mutually supportive covenant of society with itself becomes the essential platform for the survival of mankind in the approaching Ice Age environment in which agriculture is doomed to fail as it is a phenomenon of the present interglacial warm period. Nor of this was a factor in Mary Baker Eddy's time, but is is now. While on one can forecast the day of the transition or the length of it, it is known that for the last two million years Ice Ages have occurred in regular intervals with warm periods in between as the present one that is drawing to a close. And so, the larger marriage of mankind becomes not just a moral issue. It becomes a profound spiritual issue that is key to survival, for the task of uplifting ourselves, our economies, our infrastructures, and our societies as a whole as possibly the only means for meeting the demands of this task that is greater than anything that has ever been attempted. And this necessary path to a new renaissance that requires the uplifting of the whole of mankind begins at the grassroots level with some rather basic and challenging questions and explorations and breakthroughs that seem almost impossible to make.

Of course, it is far easier to let things slide and go our merry ways as always in the hope that the onset of the next Ice Age is still a thousand years away, instead of a hundred or just fifty years. But who is justified to make the call and gamble with the life of the whole of mankind?

Here people say not to worry, God will save us. Oh yes indeed, God has laid the solution at our our feet. The great historic marriage principle, the "Principle of the Advantage of the Other" lays on the ground to be picked up. It has the power to assure the survival of civilization. But will this happen? The Principle of Universal Love that it represents was put on the plate of mankind by Mary Baker Eddy before the dawn of World War I, and World War II, and so on and on. The irony is that the great principle of the universal marriage of mankind that is rooted in Truth cannot be side-stepped in any case. We can take hold of it, even in our smallness of perception, and develop it, and live it. Failing that, it might also be said of us one day as it was said of the soldiers on a battlefield in the aftermath of a blood bath, that in their death they look all alike, friend or foe. Thus, the division becomes meaningless no matter what, either by scientific advances in mankind's reaching for the Truth, or by default.

Let me close with a few excerpts of one of the greatest marriage speeches of modern times.


    ...Christian Science is not a dweller apart in royal solitude;
it is not a law of matter, nor a transcendentalism that
heals only the sick.  This Science is a law of divine Mind,
a persuasive animus, an unerring impetus, an ever-present
help.  Its presence is felt, for it acts and acts wisely,
always unfolding the highway of hope, faith,
understanding.  It is the higher criticism, the higher hope; and its
effect on man is mainly this - that the good which has
come into his life, examination compels him to think
genuine, whoever did it.  A Christian Scientist verifies
his calling.  Choose ye!

   ...Whatever is not divinely natural and demonstrably
true, in ethics, philosophy, or religion, is not of God but
originates in the minds of mortals.  It is the Adam-dream
according to the Scriptural allegory, in which
man is supposed to start from dust and woman to be
the outcome of man's rib, - marriage synonymous with
legalized lust, and the offspring of sense the murderers
of their brothers!

   Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and
delusion of sense, Christian Science comes to reveal man
as God's image, His idea, coexistent with Him - God
giving all and man having all that God gives....  

   You have dexterously and wisely provided for The
Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, a magnificent temple
wherein to enter and pray.  Greatly impressed and
encouraged thereby, deeply do I thank you for this proof
of your progress, unity, and love.  The modest edifice
of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, began with
the cross; its excelsior extension is the crown.  The room
of your Leader remains in the beginning of this edifice,
evidencing the praise of babes and the word which proceedeth
out of the mouth of God.  Its crowning ultimate
rises to a mental monument, a superstructure high
above the work of men's hands, even the outcome of
their hearts, giving to the material a spiritual significance
- the speed, beauty, and achievements of goodness.
Methinks this church is the one edifice on earth which
most prefigures self-abnegation, hope, faith; love catching
a glimpse of glory.





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Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - (c) Copyright 2008 - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche